College of Business and Economics
We investigate the impact of Chinese superstition on prices paid by Chinese home buyers in Seattle, Washington. Chinese consider 8 lucky and 4 unlucky. Empirical results indicate Chinese buyers pay a 1-2% premium for addresses including an 8 and a 1% discount for addresses including a 4. These results are unrelated to unobserved property quality: no premium exists when Chinese sell to non-Chinese. Absent explicit identfiers for Chinese individuals, we develop a binomial name classifier using methods from the biomedical and document classification literature, allowing for falsification tests using other ethnic groups and mitigating ambiguity attributable to transliteration of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet.
Digital Commons Citation
Humphreys, Brad; Nowak, Adam; and Zhou, Yang, "Chinese Superstition and Real Estate Prices: Transaction-level Evidence from the US Housing Market" (2017). Economics Faculty Working Papers Series. 27.